IFB chair says it will not be expanding into other lines as new police unit launches

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) will continue to focus on motor fraud rather than tackling new types of scam, its chair has revealed.

Allianz called last year for the IFB to dedicate extra resources to employers’ and public liability claims fraud following a rise in such scams.

But IFB chair David Neave, outlining the key points of his organisation’s soon-to-be-unveiled new strategy to Insurance Times, said it would not be expanding into other product lines.

Neave, who is also director of insurance at Co-operative Financial Services, said: “If you do a risk assessment across the whole industry, while there might be risks around ‘slip and trip’ type claims, the key issue confronting chief executives is still motor.
“That’s our core area and that’s what we need to focus on rather than spilling out into new areas.”

He added that 2010-11 had seen growth in new forms of fraud, such as application scams.

Meanwhile, the police chief in charge of a new fraud-fighting unit wants insurers to complete a survey before he decides which areas of the industry to target.

City of London Police detective chief inspector David Wood was appointed head of the as-yet-unnamed unit last Friday.
The unit launches in 2012 and will have 35 police and support staff. It is being funded by insurers, amid fears that police budget cuts would impede the fight against fraud.

The unit’s board will be chaired by a member of the National Fraud Authority and will include a member of the ABI, a member of
the ABI board committee, a senior police manager and Wood.

Pass notes: Anti-fraud unit

What will the police unit focus on first?
The unit is asking the industry for advice on areas to investigate, but ‘crash for cash’ scams and credit hire fraud are two obvious areas.

Will it investigate individual cases?
The unit will not be able to investigate every potential fraud, so it is drawing up a set of criteria that will determine what it focuses on. These will include the cost of the fraud and whether it involves an organised gang or not. The challenge for the unit will be to keep as many stakeholders happy as possible while making the most of its £3m annual budget.